3 injured in Jay crash


JAY – Two of three people remained hospitalized Tuesday after the Blazer they were riding in slid down a steep embankment and struck a tree Monday.

The driver was trapped in the vehicle for more than two hours while firefighters worked in the cold to free her.

Contributing factors in the accident, which remains under investigation, were imprudent speed for road conditions, police said. The vehicle has been impounded and is being examined for defects, police Chief Larry White Sr. said Tuesday.

Tammy Welch, 43, of Jay was driving east on Soule’s Hill Road when the sport utility vehicle began to slide to the right of the shoulder. Welch attempted to correct it and in doing so over corrected to the left and went off the road, White said.

The 2000 Chevrolet slid down an embankment with the driver’s door striking the tree, he said.

The tree stopped the vehicle from sliding further down the steep embankment, White said. He was assisted in investigating the crash by officer Mike Mejia at the scene.

Traveling in the SUV with Welch were passengers: her husband Shawn Welch, age unknown, and Kevin Chretien, 12, who is not the couple’s child, White said.

All three were taken by NorthStar Emergency Medical Services ambulances to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington.

Tammy Welch, who had broken bones, was treated at FMH before she was transferred to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. She was listed in fair condition Tuesday afternoon, a spokeswoman from CMMC said.

Her husband, Shawn, was admitted to the Farmington hospital and was still there Tuesday, a FMH spokeswoman said.

He had injured ribs, White said.

Chretien was treated and released from the hospital in Farmington, the hospital spokeswoman said.

Some people passing by stopped to help get Chretien out of the vehicle, White said.

Jay firefighters were able to remove Shawn Welch from the vehicle fairly quickly but had a harder time extricating his wife, the chief said.

“The Fire Department did an excellent job and they’re to be commended,” White said.

Wade Atwood of Atwood’s Wrecker Service in Jay used his wrecker to pull the vehicle away from the tree so that firefighters could get Tammy Welch out, he said.

The crash was reported at 4:39 p.m.